Acculturative Stress Among Female Saudi College Students in the United States

Alean Al-Krenawi, Fawziyah Alotaibi, Salman Elbedour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite their increasing numbers, Saudi Arabian international students in the United States have been the focus of few research studies. We examined acculturative stress among 84 female Saudi Arabian students enrolled in US colleges and universities in the vicinity of Washington, DC. Most participants experienced low levels of depression and anxiety, as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI-II) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Furthermore, smooth acculturation in the United States was strongly related to respondents’ confidence in their English-language competence. Interestingly, English-language proficiency and other sociodemographic variables (e.g., marital status, religiosity) were not related to psychological stress, as measured by the BAI and BDI-II. In contrast, the study found a statistically significant relationship between cultural mistrust and respondents’ psychological stress. We conclude that initiatives sponsoring international student-study in the United States and host universities should provide incoming international students with enhanced support for developing English-language proficiency, as well as a more expansive toolkit for cultural understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Acculturative stress
  • Cross-cultural
  • International students
  • Psychological stress
  • Saudi arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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